College of Sciences faculty members were celebrated by their students for outstanding teaching and educational impact.
273 academic and research faculty members from across the Institute received promotions during the spring semester. We are thankful for their contributions and honored to celebrate their accomplishments.
A Hruby Fellowship will support Malatesta in her independent career at Sandia National Laboratories.
This fall, the College of Sciences will debut three new minors, a new Ph.D. program, and a new “4+1” B.S./M.S. degree program. 


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Experts in the news

Elephants use their trunks for various tasks by exploiting a remarkable range of motions. A research team has now shown that much of this dexterity can be achieved using just a small number of muscle-like actuators. Using both theoretical calculations and experiments with a simple physical model of a trunk, the researchers found that their minimal model can reproduce the complex bending and torsional motions seen in real trunks. The results might be useful in the design of “soft robotics” devices.

David Hu, professor in the School of Biological Sciences and the School of Mechanical Engineering, calls the work “a triumph of mathematics and an important step in reverse engineering the elephant trunk.” He says that the important result is in “reducing the biological complexity to three degrees of freedom.” 

Hu adds that “the big question left in my mind is this: If elephants can achieve all these 3D trunk positions with just three actuators, why does it have to have so many other muscles, and when are those used?”

Physics Magazine

A series of four earthquakes in a week around Lake Lanier have had residents wondering two questions -- why are they happening, and when will they stop?

On Friday, researchers from several Georgia universities began placing special earthquake sensors below ground. The seismic nodes will sit about one foot deep and will be placed in several locations surrounding the epicenters. The first seismic sensor was installed at Sugar Hill Elementary School in Gwinnett County. R. Scott Harris, University of Georgia adjunct researcher and STEM educator with Gwinnett County Public Schools, and School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Professor Zhigang Peng, dug through the Georgia Clay to reach the right depth and placed the sensor and battery system below ground, to be later retrieved later this year.

"There are probably many smaller ones that are happening right now as we speak, but it's always hard to tell when it's going to stop. That's the Million-Dollar question. That's what we're trying to figure out," Dr. Peng explained.

11 Alive

Learning more about how microorganisms operate in space has long been a critical part of avoiding contamination of all NASA experiments conducted in space and on the moon.

"NASA has a responsibility to ensure that science measurements made on Mars are not impacted by microbes brought from Earth. When humans go to Mars we will bring trillions of microbes with us, carried in our gut and on our skin," said Christopher Carr, assistant professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and the School of Aerospace Engineering.

USA Today